The navigable river Trent runs from Wilden Ferry (Shardlow) to the Yorkshire Ouse and Humber Estuary at Trent Falls. There are connections to the Trent & Mersey Canal (at Derwent Mouth), the River Soar Navigation (at Trent Junction), the Erewash Canal (also at Trent Junction), the Fossdyke Navigation (at Torksey), the Chesterfield Canal (at West Stockwith), the river Idle (also at West Stockwith) and the Sheffield & South Yorkshire Navigation (at Keadby). The river is tidal below Cromwell Lock. The river is 94.8 miles (151.6 km) long and has 11 locks. The Navigation includes a section of the Nottingham Canal and Beeston Cut.
The maximum boat size that can navigate the full River Trent is
length: 79' 9" (24.3 metres) - Castle Lock
beam: 15' 2" (4.62 metres) - Castle Lock
height: 8' 0" (2.44 metres) - Chain Lane / London Road Bridge
draught: 4' 0" (1.22 metres) - cill of Castle Lock
The locks below Nottingham are at least 145ft (44m) long and 18ft (5.6m) wide. Watch out for large sand, gravel and oil barges. The locks are manned at busy times but, can be operated by the user. There may be separate landing places for commercial & leisure craft. Entry and exit are controlled by traffic lights as follows:
Each gate, and its paddles, is controlled from its adjacent console. They are “powered up” by inserting a Sanitary Station Key. An interlock prevents miss-operation. Detailed instructions are displayed at each console.
The tidal Trent is not recommended to inexperienced Skippers. The normal transit for the experienced is between Cromwell Lock and Keadby Lock via Torksey. Cromwell and Keadby locks are manned during daylight tides. It is recommended that transit is with the tide. The majority of skippers opt for a 2-day transit, stopping off in the cut below Torksey Lock. There are holding pontoons just below the lock.
Transit of the Trent below Keadby to its confluence with the Yorkshire Ouse, needs full VHF equipment and clearance from Associated British Ports.
Lincolnshire Branch – East Bank, Trent Falls to tail of Cromwell Lock
Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Branch – tail of Cromwell Lock to Shardlow
South Yorkshire & Dukeries Branch - West Bank, Trent Falls to tail of Cromwell Lock
(upstream of Gainsborough)
Canal & River Trust
First Floor North
500 Elder Gate
Milton Keynes, MK9 1BB
T: 0303 040 4040
Canal & River Trust website
Navigation Charts for the River Trent are available at The Boating Association website.